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2017 09 11 Lazaretto 1

"Lazaretto #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

lazaretto 1 00

Written by Clay McLeod Chapman
Illustrated by Jey Levang
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 6th, 2017


When watching a movie like Outbreak, you have the advantage of knowing what's coming. You'll over-analyze every cough or sneeze wondering if someone is infected. Of course, the people living through it don't have that luxury. Such is the case in Lazaretto, as a strange new flu virus is starting to spread through a small American college just as a new semester is beginning. The illness is strong and the effects are terrifying. That is not helpful considering how filthy the average college student is.

Lazaretto eases into the dorm life through the eyes of two central characters, Charles and Tamara. The former is trying to get his act together while the latter has always been on the straight and narrow. Anyone that's been to college will find some familiar situations and stresses, especially for freshmen.

Click images to enlarge

What sets these experiences apart is how artist Jey Levang highlights the germs passed between the students. This begins on the very first page as little bacteria are seen framing the bottom of the image, like a subtle reminder to always wash your hands. This escalates throughout the issue to the point where entire panels are focused on an up close view of the virus spreading. This occurs with a number of typical college activities.

Amplifying this are the handful of background characters coughing here and there. Since we know what's coming, each of those coughs is like a slash of a knife. You want to scream for Charles and Tamara to get out of their and swim in a pool of hand sanitizer. How can they not see what's coming?

Click images to enlarge

Since not much is known about this virus, every oddity is treated like it's life and death. There are numerous scenes where it looks like people have died or are about to die from this disease. When it's in the full swing, it is so unsettling. There's blood and mucus and it's just a mess. It's like a flu version of the virus in 28 Days Later. No amount of Sudafed can make this go away.

Lazaretto will make an agoraphobic out of you. This comic delivers the message of deadly, microscopic disease so well that you'll want to take a shower immediately after reading it. It's amazing how quickly this average American college is plunged into chaos. It's only going to get worse now that the quarantine is coming down.


Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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